A while ago, I found myself reading an article about a new type of propeller designed for the shipping industry. Not my normal reading fare, but I was sitting outside on a beautiful day and the article was in one of my favorite magazines.
This new propeller was being cited as a perfect example of biomimicry because it was modeled after spirals in nature. I know. It sounds pretty boring. And I was less than impressed when I read why the article said companies should switch to the new propeller:
“Early testing has shown that this design can improve a ship engine’s efficiency by up to 10%.”
I’m sure you’re as impressed as I was by this statistic. Actually, it meant nothing to me. It doesn’t explain the impact of using the new propeller and it doesn’t catch my attention. In fact, 10% is such an arbitrary number that I doubt it’s real.
Luckily, I kept reading. Later in the article, I found the statistics that really matter to me:
- A freighter uses up to 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel/day.
- The shipping industry spends $43 billion/year on fuel.
- This new impeller could save shipping firms up to $4 billion in fuel costs each year.
“Whoa!” I thought. “$4 Billion dollars. That’s a huge savings. Plus it’s much better for the environment.”
What’s the message here for you? Think about the statistics you use to describe your offering. Perhaps you increase productivity 17%. Maybe you shrink waste by 7%.
Do those percentages actually mean something to your customers? Probably not.
If you really want to get their attention, you need to take these percentages to the next level where you actually show the financial impact on the buyer!
Today’s decision makers are too busy to do it themselves. Do the math for them. Help them realize the value you truly provide.
Imagine what the decision maker on the other end of the phone might be thinking when he hears:
Bob, Jane Kerry from Super Propellers calling. With the high cost of fuel today, I know you’re looking for ways to increase your fuel efficiency. Based on our research into your fleet of __ ships, I suspect you’re probably using __ gallons per day.
I’ve got some ideas on how you might be able to reduce these costs by 10%, which I project over the course of a year would result in savings of …”
Think he’d be interested? He’d set up an appointment on the spot.
I guarantee that if you can show them the true financial impact of switching to your product or service, corporate decision makers will be much more open to what you have to say. I take that back. They’ll be begging you to come in and meet with them.
Author of Selling to Big Companies